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How crypto gave an Indian writer financial freedom

How crypto gave an Indian writer financial freedom

This is the first in a series of articles looking at stories of how cryptocurrency has brought real positive change to people’s lives around the world. We’re starting with a story about a writer from India , who discovered crypto when facing crippling fees for getting paid by international clients.

Cryptocurrency has been a game-changer for anyone like me working as a writer in India and serving international clients. It completely revolutionised the way I  send and receive payments, helping me avoid middlemen that were burning my pocket with massive fees. I hope that my experience might inspire others to consider working for crypto; here’s my story.

I am a finance graduate from  India, who more than anything, wanted to use that knowledge to become a writer. 

So, in 2011, when one of my friends offered the opportunity to provide some content for one of his clients, I jumped at the chance.

That first gig led to more opportunities, and for the next five years, I continued working for various Indian clients. However, in 2016, my focus shifted as internet access across Indian became cheaper and faster.

I began to use LinkedIn, and started gaining international clients, which was exciting, but serving businesses out of India meant getting paid was a real headache. I realised I would need to either choose an intermediary to receive payments or use SWIFT for bank-to-bank transfers. 

Everything came to an end when, without warning or explanation, PayPal blocked my account. It got me thinking about the amount of power that these middlemen held, and the lack of transparency. 

The problem with Paypal

Initially, I was glad just to be doing business in the global market because I used to get better rates for my work. 

However, over time, I realised that  Paypal fees, and bank transfer costs and exchange rates, were eating into my profit margin. On top of this, the delays for receiving funds back to my bank account were really inconvenient.

Despite this, I kept using their services because:

  • I was still receiving a decent income - by Indian standards - even after the intermediary fees were taken into account. 
  •  I wasn’t aware of any real alternative.

That was all about to change.

Everything came to an end when, without warning or explanation, PayPal blocked my account. It got me thinking about the amount of power that these middlemen held, and the lack of transparency. 

That's when I came across the concept of financial decentralisation and was eventually introduced to blockchains and a whole world of financial systems built on top of them.. This journey then led me to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

However, the road to learning about Bitcoin and blockchains wasn't easy, and trusting them for daily payments presented its own challenges.

Difficulties in adopting crypto for regular use

In order to understand crypto, I had to make sense of blockchains. Like all new technologies, blockchains were also difficult to comprehend. The definition of "a distributed ledger of technology" wasn't easy to understand, even with my financial background. If you are about to jump down the crypto rabbit hole, my experience may be helpful:

  1. Start by learning how your fiat money works and it will become easier for you to make sense of crypto and why the world needs them. Like me, you might be forced to learn because of your circumstances.
  2. There is a lot of noise around price and getting-rich-quick.crypto,, I focused on understanding what it is, its use case, and how well the community has received the idea. This helped me understand the wider vision behind cryptocurrencies, solving the crippling issues of our financial system, which in my own small way, I was experiencing. 
  3. In order to use cryptocurrencies, learning about Bitcoin or other digital assets is simply not enough. I had to learn about wallets, exchanges, fees, and a whole lot more to finally be able to buy my first crypto. So, dig deeper and find out about exchanges that work in your region. 
  4. Crypto  is often associated with crime by the media. Don’t be put off and this is far from the truth. The industry is maturing all the time  with blue-chip companies  starting to recognize it as an emerging tech along with SMEs. 

How crypto has improved my life

Learning about crypto was one of the best decisions of my life. I now use crypto for receiving payments for the assignments I do for my clients. It not only removed  the fee I was paying to PayPal but also the time it took to receive a payment. 

Moreover, crypto removes the dependence on a third party, with the power to remove their service at any time.

Apart from its practical value, crypto has  introduced me to the broader concept of decentralisation. I realise that we can do business without having to rely on intermediaries. 

This concept doesn’t only apply to finance, but every other sector that is using a third party to facilitate business.

Learning about crypto inspired me to be a part of the ongoing revolution in the financial space, which is why I have  been writing exclusively about blockchains and cryptocurrencies for the last four years.  

2 billion
The number of people classified as Unbanked, concentrated in Asia & Sub-Saharan Africa

In India  we’ve moved from bullock-carts to jets, radio to smartphones, and ARPANET to Web 3.0. Almost all sectors have improved in one way or another, except perhaps banking. UX may have improved but the system behind it, has not:

  • People are still trusting a third-party with their funds who in return charge a handsome fee for their service.
  • It takes days to transfer money from one part of the world to another. 
  • We live in 21st century but 2 billion people are still unbanked. 

The only way to bring innovation to our banking sector is by introducing people to cryptocurrency, and hopefully by sharing my story I might inspire a few more people to start their journey.

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